Produce Color


See Red, Fight Cancer

The beautiful color of red fruits and vegetables comes from a compound called Lycopene. Emerging as the most powerful antioxidant of the carotenoid family, Lycopene, and a flavonoid called Anthocyanin which lends reddish to purple tints to produce, may help reduce the risk of some types of cancers.

Enjoying red fruits and vegetables can also help with:

  • Heart health
  • Memory function
  • Urinary tract health

Red Apple

Apples can help reduce the risk of many diseases, including cancer, asthma and heart disease. Apples are a great source of fiber, too. In fact, one large apple supplies 5 grams of fiber, which is about 20% of the recommended daily intake

Red Grapes

A good source of Vitamin C, red grapes contain the phytonutrients Resveratrol, Quercetin, Anthocyanin and Catechin, making them a nutritious snack that’s as healthy as it is sweet.

In Season

Red Grapes is generally available year-round.



Like all red fruits, strawberries contain Lycopene and Antioxidants. They’re also a great source of Vitamin C and do not contain saturated fats or cholesterol. With only 50 calories per serving and 9 grams of dietary fiber in just one cup, they’re a great healthy snack!

Not only are strawberries a delicious treat, they are incredibly good for you too. The deep red color of these berries comes from a high content of anthocyanins, a potent antioxidant that has repeatedly been shown to help protect cell structures in the body.

In Season: Summer



Ancestors of the strawberry were discovered in the 18th Century by French explorers in Chile. The plump, red berries were cultivated by the Indians in South America. The explorers brought several plants back to France, where the berry was crossed with a wild meadow strawberry that previously had been discovered in Virginia. The resulting berry was a forerunner of our modern strawberry. (Source: California Strawberry Advisory Board)



Low in saturated fat and high in Lycopene, sweet and juicy watermelon contains Vitamin A, B6 and Vitamin C.

Watermelon is a sweet treat you can feel great about indulging in. It's fat free, low in calories and contains key vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, B6, C, and cancer-fighting lycopene. On a warm spring afternoon there is nothing like sweet refreshing watermelon, so grab a slice or two (or three, or four...) and enjoy.

In Season: Spring — Summer

May, June, July, August



Fat free and low in calories, cherries are high in Potassium, Vitamin C and B Complex. They're also a sweet source of Antioxidants and Boron. Even more reasons to cherish cherries!

Sweet, juicy cherries are one of summer's best treats. There are several delicious varieties to choose from, the most popular being the Bing, the Lambert, and the Rainier. Bing cherries are large, round, extra-sweet with purple-red flesh and a deep red skin that verges on black when fully ripe. Lambert cherries are a smaller, heart-shaped red cherry similar in taste and texture to the Bing. Rainier cherries have golden yellow flesh and skin with blushing rosy overtones, and they have a flavor that is sweeter more mellow than the Bing. The month of August is generally summer's last opportunity for fresh cherries, so enjoy them while you can.

In Season: Summer



Bing is the leading variety, developed first in Oregon by a pioneer grower, just over 100 years ago, who named it for one of his Chinese workmen.



Terrifically tart, these scarlet-colored berries are a good source of an antioxidant compound called elagic acid, and contain Flavonoids, Quercetin and Myricetin. Darker cranberries also have a third compound, Kaempferol.

Only about 10 percent of the commercial crop is sold fresh, and the rest are frozen or canned. This is the time of year to enjoy fresh cranberries. Fresh cranberries freeze very well, so buy an extra bag or two early in the season for use later on when they are not as plentiful in stores.

In Season: Autumn

October, November, December

Preparation Tips

Since cranberries are very seasonal, it is helpful to know that they can be frozen. For example, buy an extra bag or two during Thanksgiving and freeze them if you like to make your own cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. Do not thaw frozen cranberries. Simply rinse with cold water and use immediately after removing them from the freezer. Frozen berries are best in glazes and sauces.


Cranberry sauce was an invention of American Indians who cooked cranberries with honey or maple sugar, to eat with their meat. The plant is native to peat and bog areas of northern latitudes around the globe. American berries are unique for their large size and commercial production is confined to North America.



Low in calories and Sodium, this flavorful red-leafed lettuce is a good source of Vitamin C, and free of cholesterol and saturated fat.

Red Grapefruit

Red grapefruits supply 110% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C! They are also a good source of Vitamin A and contain Flavonoids as well as minerals such as Folate, Iron and Calcium!

In Season

Red Grapefruit is generally available year-round.



Supplying 50% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and 20% of Vitamin A, tomatoes are low in fat and calories, and high in Lycopene. They’re also saturated fat, Sodium and cholesterol-free!

Nothing reflects the vibrant color and warmth of summer like tomatoes. While tomatoes are available year round, the flavor of fresh summer tomatoes simply can't be beat!

In Season: Summer

June, July, August

Preparation Tips

Do not refrigerate tomatoes! They will retain their flavor and ripen correctly at room temperature. Once they are ripe, use within 3 days.


This vegetable is actually a berry, and is thought to have come first from the Andes mountains, and the present name is close to the Indian name. It belongs to the nightshade family, along with potatoes, eggplants, peppers and tobacco.

In Europe, where it was taken by the Spanish, the tomato was grown only as a ornamental for many years. Eating tomatoes was considered certain to prove fatal. Even in North America, it has been only in the past 150 years that people mustered enough courage to try eating them. That all changed starting on the courthouse steps in Salem, New Jersey, at twelve o'clock noon on September 26, 1820, when Colonel Robert G. Johnson ate not one, but a basketful of tomatoes. He not only lived, he wasn't a bit ill following his demonstration.

In 1893 , the Supreme Court ruled that the tomato must be considered a vegetable, even though, botanically, it is a fruit. Because vegetables and fruits were subject to different import duties, it was necessary to define it as one or the other. So, tomatoes were declared to be a vegetable given that it was commonly eaten as one. (Source: The Packer, 6/9/90)

Tomatoes were popularized in this country when the Creoles in New Orleans included them in their popular gumbos and jambalayas. (Source: The California Tomato Board.)


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